Sunday, June 10, 2012

18 years...

18 years.  Where did those years go?  18 years ago today I certainly was NOT thinking about graduation.  My baby was 4 months old and I was a young mom excited about the future and what it would hold for this little baby of mine.  18 years later.. This afternoon I watched that "baby" walk up on a stage and accept his High School Diploma.  18 years of celebrations, trials, laughter, tears, frustration, pride, and all the those other emotions I'm forgetting about.

I remember people telling me to hold on to him, these years go by so fast.  I didn't believe them.  18 years is such a long time to a young, 22-year-old mom.  18 years went by in the blink of an eye to this 40-year-old mom.  Can't I hang on to that little boy for just a little bit longer?  No.  I need to let him fly.  I need to let him feel the wind under his wings and maybe even hop around like the little robin that Mike and Rachael saw yesterday in the backyard.  It's mama was chirping encouragement, but was letting it stretch it's wings and learn to fly on it's own.  It's hard watching your baby leave the nest, but I know he's ready.  Fly, Tyler!  Stretch your wings and soar!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

God never you more then you can handle...

You know, one saying that I have come to hate is "God never gives you more then what you can handle."  On the outside, it seems like something nice to say to someone who is going through difficult times.  It's one of those bits of advice that I know I have been guilty of giving in the past, but after the last year or so, it's now out of my repertoire of words to say to a person going through a trying time.  You see, I challenge you to find, in the Bible, where it says that.  God has never told someone that.  Look at Job, Moses, David, Solomon.  Look at Peter, Paul, or any of the other apostles that died or were persecuted for their faith.  God does give us more then we can handle, but He then expects us to lean on Him for strength.  He alone gives us the strength to get through the trials that this life throws at us.

The last 18 months or so have been very difficult ones for our family.  It has been a time in the desert trying to desperately follow and listen to what God wants us to do and not hearing a whole lot from Him. I have felt His presence in my life, but not a whole lot of guidance.  It's been one of those periods in my life when everything has been picked up and shaken up and I've been throwing myself at God screaming, "Why have you done this to ME!  Can't you see how it has upset MY family?  What do you want ME to do?  How can I fix it?"

Well, no wonder God was quiet.  I was making it all about me.  Just like a little child.  Yes, I was hurt terribly.  Yes, because of what happened, my husband and my children were affected.  There was nothing I could do.  Nothing I could do to fix it and go back to how things were. I was too busy trying to hear what I wanted God to say rather than actually listening to what He was telling me.  Psalms 46:10 tells us to "Be still and know that I am God."  I wasn't being still.  I was restless, I was angry, and I wanted answers.

I think we're on the healing side of things now.  Things are settling into a new normal.  We have a new church family that we're trying to figure out where we fit.  There are still outbursts and sadness, but when I look back at what happened, I can see God's loving Hands in it.  I am still sad when I think back on the series of events, but I'm not angry anymore.  God has shown me why He allowed what to happen, happen and I am at peace with that.

I know God has a plan for my life.  He knew me before I was born (Jeremiah 1:5),  He knows the number of hairs on my head (Matthew 10:30), He will guide me (Proverbs 3:5-6, Psalm 37:4-7) and most of all, He loves me (John 3:16, Romans 5:5, Psalm 33:18-22)!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

When one flies the coop...

Well, I haven't kept up with this like I had intended to.  Isn't that life?  It just gets ahead of you and everything else falls to the wayside.

So I'm feeling a little sad and just a bit weepy.  Why?  One of my chicks flew the coop earlier this week sooner then we had been expecting.  I'm missing him and realizing that when he comes home, it will be for a visit, not to stay.  Don't get me wrong!  I'm happy for him and pray success and happiness for him.  I look forward to his visit homes and am glad that he is stretching his wings and learning to fly.

What happened, you ask? Well, there has been discourse in our house lately with him.  He's a senior and has had a bad case of senioritis.  We've been on his case about finding a job for the summer and he's just been haphazardly looking with a lot of outside, what shall we call it?  Motivation that didn't seem to come from him!  So last weekend, we hear through the grape-vine that a camp that is about 40 minutes from our house was getting a bit desperate for some male counselors. This perked Tyler up.  He LOVES camp, it was always a highlight of his summer and was sad that he wouldn't be going this year.  Now the camp we've sent our kids to for years is about 4 hours from here and this one is much closer, but still a Christian camp.  He jumped on it. Made the call Tuesday afternoon after school, got his application and references sent out the same day and got a call on Wednesday for a phone interview Thursday.  By Thursday some of his references had gotten returned (oh, the speed of doing things on-line!) and between his glowing references and his interview he got hired on the spot to be a counselor, barring a bad background check.

I took him to camp on Friday afternoon when he finished his very last day of High School.  No time to really process he was leaving.  Just a whirlwind of getting last minute supplies and getting him there.  I dropped him and all his gear off at the cabin he'll be staying in and awkwardly waved goodbye to him as he was walking away.  No hug, no.. well.. he was nervous, excited and forgot about hugging his old mom.

Now I realize that he'll be home a few weekends here and there between now and when camp ends on August 17.  He'll be busy with friends, packing up his room, getting ready for college.  College move-in is August 21.

So here I sit.. my chicks are growing.  I hold on to them as long as I can, but they struggle and fight against my embraces.  They want to grow up.  They want to fly and who can blame them?  That's what God created them to do.  I do rejoice in that.  I rejoice in their independence but I mourn just a little bit in the loss of their presence in our home.